We arrived early. We were supposed to arrive between 4:15 and 5:45. Being directionally challenged, and knowing that parking might be an issue, we left early and arrived right at 4:00.
And she waited.
We stood in line in another room for what felt like hours. We lined up. We listened to instructions. We practiced. We took a break.
And my child continued to wait.
in ceremony that took two and a half hours.
We left the arena at 9:30 pm. I was so proud of her for not fussing and complaining about the long afternoon and evening. She stood up to people who wanted to barge in on the seats she was saving for Glory and James. She was amazing.
And ya know, that’s the way things have been. Since I’ve been a single mom ; they’ve been grand. They have been a strong support for each other. James has told Joy that all she has to do is call him and he will drop life to go pick her up if she is off somewhere and wants to come back home. At times, Glory and James have taken care of Joy so that I can go out-of-town. They have both stopped by to pick Joy up from school … especially on Monday or Thursday when she carried her backpack AND violin case on the three block trek. At times, when I couldn’t make it home for class before Joy got home, they would rearrange plans to be there to welcome her home … that Joy might not have to walk into an empty home. They have taken her to a movie or to get ice cream. I could not have done it without them.
And they sat there in those stands, the three of them together, and watched me march.
To be honest, I was quite giddy about the entire ceremony. I was surrounded by people who had worked extremely hard to do their best.
These “kids” … they are my friends. I know they see me as “old,”
but I see them as friends.
And I was so excited to be there with them … walk with them …
be able to celebrate with them.
From this podium, our names were called … one at a time.
From the rear of this stage, our two program instructors stood and clapped for every.single.graduate in our program that crossed. No other instructors showed that kind of support. None.
It was a grand night … one that stood in jeopardy for several weeks. But, praise God, I was able to walk and receive my degree with my class on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 7pm at James Brown Arena.
It was an absolutely wonderful evening.